Once again teamed with his E Street Band, Working on a Dream is a 12-song set once again produced by Brendan O'Brien, who has produced previous Springsteen records The Rising, Devils & Dust, and Magic. According to Springsteen, the seeds of the record were mostly sewn during the Magic sessions.
"Towards the end of recording Magic, excited by the return to pop production sounds, I continued writing," Springsteen said through a press release announcing the album's release.
Springsteen and the band have been working on the album for the past year, during breaks in the Magic World Tour.
"I hope Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done," Springsteen said. "All the songs were written quickly, we usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end."
The 12-song album will be appended by two bonus tracks. The first, "The Wrestler," is the theme song to a film of the same name. The second, "A Night With The Jersey Devil" was recently offered through the singer's web site as a free Halloween download.
January 2009 is now officially something for me to look forward to. Based on what Bruce has said in his statement, I'm counting on much of this album being in the vein of "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," "Your Own Worst Enemy," "I'll Work For Your Love," and "Waiting On A Sunny Day." Those songs represent the more pop-oriented songs from the last two E Street Band records. I happen to like three of those four songs quite a lot, so the idea of a pop record doesn't bother me a bit. I can't wait to hear the cries of "Judas!" from some of the notoriously bitchy longtime fans because you can guaran-damn-tee they are coming. Actually I'm blacklisting certain Springsteen-themed web sites because I just don't want to hear it, and by "it" I mean their bitching, not the record. I can't wait to hear the record.
It will be interesting to find out if any work by Dan Federici will make the record. Federici passed away earlier this year, having taken a leave of absence from the tour while being treated for melanoma cancer. He did participate in the Magic sessions so it is indeed possible he may have contributed to songs that will now surface as part of Working On A Dream.
The next piece of this puzzle is tour dates. None have been announced yet. There is rampant speculation about what a tour might look like. Drummer Max Weinberg is expected to follow Conan O'Brien to The Tonight Show in June of '09. Should that happen, there would be a very, very large vacancy behind the drum kit. There are rumors — and I emphasize the word "rumor" that tour dates could start early in the new year to allow the band to tour this record with "Mighty" Max. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Working on a Dream Track List
1. Outlaw Pete
2. My Lucky Day
3. Working on a Dream
4. Queen of the Supermarket
5. What Love Can Do
6. This Life
7. Good Eye
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
9. Life Itself
10. Kingdom of Days
11. Surprise, Surprise
12. The Last Carnival
A Night with the Jersey Devil